Skip to Content

Leah Crosby Receives U-M Creative Careers Residency

STAMPS Leah Crosby026
Leah Crosby working in their MFA Studio on their thesis project.

Graduating Stamps MFA student Leah Crosby is staying at the University of Michigan after commencement. They are one of three students receiving a residency that will support their work as a creative after earning their degree in May 2024

The University of Michigan Arts Initiative named Crosby as a recipient of the Creative Careers Residency. The program provides transitional support for a full-time, self-directed creative practice in art and design, as well as other similar disciplines. Crosby is excited about the opportunities they will have through the program in the coming year. 

"I'm thrilled and honored to have the support of the Creative Careers Residency for another year of deep research and creation,” said Crosby. “I look forward to continuing my graduate research on the complexities of identity co-formation within professionalized caregiving relationships. Crucially, this fledgling fellowship understands that for artists to make work, our basic needs must be met through access to healthcare and cost-of-living support. I look forward to making new connections, enjoying existing relationships, and imagining more expansive ways to be in community."

Crosby is planning to create experimental audio and text-based work that draws on their lived experiences as a professional caregiver. They are working on finalizing local partnerships for the distribution of the piece when it is ready, but plan to incorporate hallmarks of their creative work, which include choose-your-own-adventure stories, vending machines, puzzles, scavenger hunts, and tiny books.

A multimedia artist, Crosby graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography before entering the Stamps MFA program. Their most recent work was their MFA Thesis Installation entitled Tender, Tender” which drew from their deep experience with caregiving work. In the artist’s description of the exhibit, Crosby wrote, Machines, barcodes, pasta, refrigerator magnets, candy, and band aids are used to tell a series of stories about the peculiar pleasures and disquieting realities of being paid for love and attention.”

The Creative Careers Residency seeks to reduce barriers for emerging artists by providing multiple resources to ease the transition from academia to post-graduate endeavors. Residents receive a work stipend and health insurance, among other benefits. The residency program also Increases the presence and interactions of artists-in-residence across the U‑M campus.